7 Ways to Intimidate Your Exam Competition

Scam your way to a 2:1

Cambridge cambridge students Cambridge University competitive degree exam term Exams intimidation Library Oxbridge revision student life

During my revision of twentieth century literature, T.S. Eliot’s declaration that ‘April is the cruellest month’ seemed particularly resonant.

The sun is beginning to shine, new summer garms are being bought, sex drives are increasing, yet here I am, exams looming, forced to sit in a room even less ambient than the personality I thought I had. Even worse, every other person on my course is constantly popping out of the library talking about how they’ve really let themselves go and can’t believe their lack of self-control, but are taking a five minute break in the buttery because they’re six hours of revision in and are lacking motivation! Burning down the house or what?

A very wild and mental break from the library

The possibility of actually knowing more than my classmates went out of the window a very long time ago. It seems the only way to stand a chance of creeping back into their meticulously organised arenas is to resort to a little sabotage. After all, some people are born to be prime minister, others are born to scam. So if, like me, you are struggling to open a past paper, channel your energies into something more fulfilling: intimidating your competition into losing focus on their exams and helping your grades become a little less Sainsbury’s basics and a little more Waitrose’s Finest.

Talk incessantly

First things first, tell everyone you’re not stressed. Cambridge is all about stress. It is defined by stress. If stress didn’t exist it would have an existential crisis. For a Cambridge student to hear you are not stressed will intimidate them beyond belief. A glitch in the matrix am I right?

Book hoarding

Take all the books even slightly relevant to your exam out of the college library. Not only will everyone else start stressing about the time they will have to waste trying to find an alternative source in the UL, they will also waste even more of their precious time wondering how you have managed to cover such a vast range of info.


Low-key intimidation via Spotify

Always be listening to ‘concentration music’ on Spotify. Or the Godfather soundtrack. The only thing scarier than a member of your subject being more intelligent than you is the possibility of having an acquaintance who may also possibly be planning to put a horse head in your bed.

Your real thoughts on the text in hand

Self-imposed reclusion

Never leave your room. It will be assumed that you are working, even if in fact you are still working out how to use eduroam.

Social media

Make absolutely sure that you upload plenty of photos of yourself at edgy locations such as Turf. You know you’re at Cambridge instead of Manchester when the question is not ‘where are we going tonight?’ but rather ‘can I go out tonight?’. If people see you having a good time (as long as you’re not smiling, that wouldn’t be rogue enough) they will be so busy wondering how you can possibly be revising whilst acting like a star from Trainspotting that they’ll forget to open their textbooks.

When in Rome…

The medium of the group chat

Set up a group chat with all your fellow subjectees and ask really niche questions which one would only ask if one had covered all the core material and was now onto the extra.

Student #jurnalizm

Start writing a Tab article 3 days before your first exam. Everyone may think you are a cool and collected human being with multiple extra-curricular pursuits (maybe even lacrosse if you knew what it was) when in fact you are wondering if you’d get any more than £10 when you end up selling your wardrobe on the car boot and contemplating an alternative career as a fishmonger.

What’s cooler than being cool??? Not me lol!